One retraction notice says plagiarism. The other says it was an error in an algorithm. Which was it?

For the second time in a week, we’ve come across a retraction notice that gave the wrong reason for the retraction.

Last week, it was an Elsevier journal that called a plagiarized paper a duplicate of work by the same authors who’d written the original. Today, here’s the story of a chapter in a book published by Springer Nature that manages to list two different reasons for retraction.

According to one notice for “In-silico Analysis of LncRNA-mRNA Target Prediction” in: D. Reddy Edla et al. (eds.), Advances in Machine Learning and Data Science, Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing 705, the chapter was retracted for plagiarism.

But according to the other notice, the retraction happened because Continue reading One retraction notice says plagiarism. The other says it was an error in an algorithm. Which was it?

The mystery of the mistaken retraction is solved — sort of

We finally have some clarity on the case of the erroneous retraction over at the Annals of Surgical Oncology.

Last week, we reported that the journal, and its publisher, Springer Nature, were having some trouble with a retracted presentation from a 2017 cancer meeting. Turns out, the issue involved crossed wires for similar articles in the journal by the same trio of researchers.

Elizabeth Hawkins, a spokeswoman for Springer Nature, told us:

Continue reading The mystery of the mistaken retraction is solved — sort of

Oops: Springer Nature journal retracts the wrong paper

The Annals of Surgical Oncology (ASO) owes an apology to a group of researchers at two hospitals in South Florida.

Last month, the journal retracted a conference presentation about a device, from a company called Cianna Medical, that is designed to allow surgeons to home in to suspicious lumps in the breast and avoid needless damage to the surrounding tissue. According to the notice for “SAVI SCOUT RADAR – A non-wire non-radioactive localization device can be used for axillary lymph node surgery,” the authors of the study had failed to obtain ethics approval for the research, which was originally presented in April 2017 at the annual meeting of the American Society of Breast Surgeons.

Trouble is, that part about lack of ethics approval is not true.

Continue reading Oops: Springer Nature journal retracts the wrong paper

A retraction gets retracted

Last year, an emergency medicine journal retracted a letter to the editor because it didn’t include the author’s potential conflict of interest. Now, it’s had a change of heart.

Earlier this month, the Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine withdrew the retraction after determining the author, Guy Weinberg, had, in fact, provided information about his potential conflict  with his initial submission. Continue reading A retraction gets retracted

Oops: Elsevier journal retracts the wrong paper

When Saidur Rahman learned last month that his 2010 review paper about nanoparticles in refrigeration systems had been retracted, he was concernedno one at the journal had told him it was going to be pulled.

Rahman, a professor of engineering at Sunway University in Selangor, Malaysia, had recently corrected his 2010 review in Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviewsspecifically, in January, the journal published a two-page correction rewriting the parts of the paper that were “appear close to some materials we had included in some of our other review research.” But Rahman was not anticipating a retraction. Continue reading Oops: Elsevier journal retracts the wrong paper

“GOOD NEWS!…we were able to retract your article:” Journal

A paleontology journal has retracted a recent paper after discovering it had published the uncorrected version of the manuscript.

The mistake occurred after the authors submitted revisions to the manuscript without tracking the changes, prompting the publisher to believe nothing had been changed and publishing the previous version. The journal initially told the authors it planned to publish an erratum that described the mistake as a production error, but then retracted the paper—seemingly without consulting the authors. However, the authors said they were happy with the outcome.

Glenn Brock, an author on the Journal of Paleontology paper, told Retraction Watch: Continue reading “GOOD NEWS!…we were able to retract your article:” Journal

Author under fire on PubPeer issues puzzling correction to chem paper

A researcher whose work has been heavily questioned on PubPeer has corrected a figure on a 2015 paper in Talanta — but the text of the correction doesn’t match the actual changes.

Recently, Rashmi Madhuri at the Indian Institute of Technology (Indian School of Mines) in Dhanbad corrected a 2015 paper about a diagnostic sensor that uses nanoparticles, noting that there was a “small error” in the legend describing figure 1. But the corrected image bears the same legend it had before, and instead swapped a panel of the figure that had been questioned on PubPeer.

Here’s another puzzling element to the story: Gary Christian at the University of Washington, one of the editors-in-chief of the journal, tells us he doesn’t “recall being aware of the corrigendum:”

Continue reading Author under fire on PubPeer issues puzzling correction to chem paper

When publishers mess up, why do authors pay the price?

Springer has retracted two papers, which appeared online earlier this year in different journals, after discovering both were published by mistake.

A spokesperson at Springer explained that the retractions are “due to a human error.”

According to one of the retraction notices, published in Archive for Mathematical Logic, the paper had not yet undergone peer review and the author plans to resubmit his paper to the journal. The other retraction notice, published in Arabian Journal of Geosciences, simply states that an “error in the submission system” is to blame. Unfortunately, in both cases the authors now have a retraction on their record, seemingly through no fault of their own.

Neither notice indicates what publisher glitches led to the premature publications. We asked the spokesperson for clarity, but she did not elaborate. When asked whether Springer has made changes to prevent these errors from happening again, the spokesperson said:

Continue reading When publishers mess up, why do authors pay the price?

Caught Our Notice: Oops — paper included proofreader’s query

Via Wikimedia

Title: Concise Review: Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Neurodegenerative Diseases

What Caught Our Attention: Everyone makes mistakes — but some are more amusing than others. In one recent correction, the publisher (Wiley) admitted to including a proofreader’s query in the published manuscript. But didn’t say what the query was.

We looked around, and think we found the added notes in the abstract on the PubMed entry (emphasis ours):  Continue reading Caught Our Notice: Oops — paper included proofreader’s query

A journal retracted a paper when authors couldn’t pay. Then it retracted the retraction.

Oops.

A plant journal recently retracted a 2017 paper, saying the authors couldn’t pay the page charges ($110/page). The notice has since disappeared, and the journal announced on Twitter Thursday it was issued in error. The paper is now intact on the journal’s site.

This isn’t the first time the journal has withdrawn a statement that authors couldn’t pay the page charges — we’ve discovered the journal removed a line to that effect from a 2015 retraction notice (although in that case, it left the retraction intact). Page charges, often required by traditional publishers, typically cover printing costs; they differ from article processing charges (APCs) levied by open-access journals, which cover the cost of publishing the paper and making it freely available.

We’ve contacted editors at the journal and its publisher, Taylor & Francis, to try to find out why there are mixed messages about author page charges. A spokesperson for the publisher said it was unable to respond before deadline, but it was looking into the matter:

I can confirm that we are committed to following [Committee on Publication Ethics] guidelines and that we are taking this issue seriously.

In the meantime, here’s what we know.

Continue reading A journal retracted a paper when authors couldn’t pay. Then it retracted the retraction.